36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
I recently heard something that pricked my heart while sitting at Recreate Women’s conference. DawnCherie Wilkerson, a Pastor from Miami said, “The way you love people is what leaves a mark on people.”
When she spoke this sentence, it reminded me of the homeless ministry my family serves with. When we step outside of our “self” to love others we are leaving a mark on them. When we give someone a hug, acknowledge them, give them a simple smile, we are leaving a mark on them. We are not going to be remembered for the house we have, the car we drive, or even the makeup we wore. What we will be remembered for is how we leave our mark on others. Are you leaving a mark of love? Are you leaving Jesus wherever you go? Recently, I went on a trip to Linn Park to participate in a serve project and didn’t want to be there. I was not feeling it…I had cramps. I had a headache. To be honest, I wanted my pajama pants and heating pad! When I left, I realized I had the best serve I had in a long time. Why? I had set myself aside, and loved on other people. I laughed with them, hugged their neck, and prayed with them. We don’t always want to love others, but when we do, we often times will walk away more blessed than any blessing we could give.
In the days we live in now, I find it hard at times to love others. We have become polarized in our differences and it seems impossible to find a middle ground that unites us. When Jesus came on to the scene, he flipped the script giving us the most important teaching- to love the Lord with all our heart, and soul…then LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as you love yourself. I know that stepping aside from our “self” to love a neighbor goes against everything society tells us, especially when they are different than we are.
Here are three ways I encourage you to love someone:
Nicole Collier grew up in Montgomery, AL. She now lives in Helena, AL with her husband, Matthew, and 2 boys, Ethan, 10, and Russell, 6. She is a lover of all things creative, including photography and music. Her life verse is Romans 8:28. God will use your story to turn it around, bringing Him the glory through it all. You can find Nicole now as a contributor on The Something More Ministries Blog, and serving with The Just People Project Ministry.